If you like variety of species and fishing options, Bligh Reef is for you.
The spectacular Bligh Reef – for an amazing range of species and fishing options, great GT fishing, with lots of GTs between 10-20kg, and enough seriously big fish to keep you on your toes!
- Cast the shallow reef flats with light or heavy spin gear for an incredible variety of species
- Troll the outer edge of the reef for huge dogtooth tuna, yellowfin, mackerel and wahoo
- Target black marlin while trolling the reef edge
- Light and heavy jigging for coral trout, wrasse, emperor and a huge variety of other species
- Anglers typically land over 50 fish per boat per day lurecasting the shallow reef flats
- Bligh Reef is visited as part of the Far Northern Explorer program
The amazing Bligh Reef is named after the famous captain Bligh, who visited this area on his way to Tahiti. This is one of the most remote areas of Australia, and is rarely visited. The general sportfishing here is simply amazing, and this reef provides the opportunity to combine inshore sportfishing for mackerel, barramundi, mangrove jacks and queenfish, with all of the fabulous bluewater options such as GT casting, lurecasting the reef flats, deepwater jigging, marlin trolling and general bluewater sportfishing.
The types of fishing on each trip is decided by what the majority of guests each week would like to do, so barra fishing may not be available on all Bligh reef mixed group trips. We visit Bligh Reef as part of our Far Northern Explorer trip schedule, with a limited number of annual trips. Bligh Reef can be visited on a 4 or 5 night trip package, and is also visited on the 6 Day Bligh/Forbes/Margaret Bay Ultimate Adventure once per year. Check the Rates and Dates page for exact trip times.
Fishing for GTs at Bligh reef can be absolutely spectacular, though you will find the GTs on average to be smaller (10-20kg on average, so still great fish!) than other destinations. But fortunately, there’s plenty of them.
There are still some larger GTs at Bligh as well, with plenty of 40kg+ specimens coming from the area in recent years. The GT fishing, while spectacular, is not the main reason for visiting Bligh reef. Most anglers keep coming back to this area for its huge diversity of species you can catch. You could be walking a sand flat and sight casting to a GT or golden trevally in the morning, and then trolling a reef entrance in the afternoon for a big dogtooth, with maybe a spot of lurecasting on the reef shallows on the way.
Depending on which area we choose to fish, there are beautiful protected islands to anchor behind, rivers teeming with barramundi and mangrove jacks, and then, of course, the spectacular bluewater casting trolling and jigging.
The popular reef species that you’re likely to catch include coral trout, red throat emperor, long nose emperor, spangled emperor, red bass, maori wrasse, maori sea perch, bluefin trevally, various species of groupers, green jobfish, big eye emperor, and the list goes on.
Bligh Reef is visited as one of a range of locations on the 4-5 night Far Northern Explorer trips In April, May, September and October. The Far Northern Explorer trips visit a massive Reef area covering over 5000sq nautical miles of reef, and we visit any variety of locations in the vicinity of Bligh Reef on these trips based on weather and fishing. The only trip guaranteed to fish Bligh Reef itself is our 7 Night Bligh Reef, Five Reef, and Margaret Bay Ultimate Adventure.
Getting to Bligh Reef
Although this reef complex is only 85 kilometres offshore, it is still extremely remote. To access Bligh Reef, you’ll board a plane in Cairns and fly to Lockhart River (population approximately 300). You’ll be met at Lockhart River and driven by 4WD on a bush track through the remote Cape York wilderness for a 1 hour trip to Portland Roads (population 20). The mothership will be anchored in the bay at Portland roads, where we’ll be waiting to pick you up from the beach and travel the short distance out to Bligh Reef to start fishing. We’ll fish our way out to the reef, or head north to fish the islands and rivers, depending on guests’ choices.
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